Drifting away from tiring schedules – How Travelling helped me!

Hey Guys, sorry to keep you waiting. It’s been over 2 months that I haven’t penned down anything.

Loads of things happening and largely it’s my random travel plans which kept me busy and I am not really complaining. Who doesn’t love to travel? That’s one thing, where you spend your money and it makes you richer. (yeah…wise investments too! :P)

I have seen people saving money for larger good, but they keep on missing the fun of those small breaks which they can steal by taking those small trips once in a while. The motto should be at least one trip a month and that one big trip in a year.

You will say, “Are you insane…why should we even listen to you?

I say, just because it’s tried and tested. Since this year’s start, I am averaging almost 2 trips a month and I am a super happy child. Those trips have given me an outlet to not only rejuvenate myself but helped me do my work more efficiently. Those trips were not only about exploring the unexplored, but also visits to my family and relatives places.

It’s not very long ago, since travelling has become an indispensable part of my life. And my journeys have made me realize few things which I want to share with you all:

Chail, Himachal Pradesh
Chail, Himachal Pradesh
  • Take small duration but frequent breaks: As I mentioned above, this really helps. Just do an ad-hoc weekend getaway, or plan a 3-4 day trip in a month somewhere to be away from the hustle bustle of the city.
  • Travel plans should be a mixed bag: Make sure your travel visit includes visiting your loved ones  as well. Work takes us to different cities but make sure you keep giving those surprise visits to your family and loved ones. And for the rest of the travel plans, there are thousands of places to chose from.
  • Travel with mixed bunch:
    • Travel with friends: to do crazy stuff
    • Travel with family: because such moments are rare and should be cherished
    • Travel with your partner: to create those lovely memories where it’s just you two and solace
    • Travel with unknown people: to meet new kinds and grow new friendships. You never know whom you can meet and a life long bond gets created
    • Travel solo: to discover yourself and what are you capable of!

I have not done the last two but I wish to do them in near future. In case you are looking for travel partners, there are many who keep organizing such trips like,

One of the latest which I came across was from Streets of India (Instagram account) who are planning a trip to McLeodganj this June and are inviting people to participate.

Just do a simple google search, join different travel groups, especially the ones like The Himalayan Club and you will just keep looking for excuses to travel.

Hope reading this inspired you to plan your next travel. If yes, type in your destination in the comments below and let me know. 🙂

HAPPY TRAVELLING! 😀 😀

 

 

House Husband – Why we dread this concept?

© Thinkstock Photos/Getty Images
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty Images

I cook the meals, clean the house, look after the kids, tend the yard. Because my husband wife has a job.

Yes, House Husband (opposite of housewife, a rare breed and a term which if gets associated with a guy becomes a stigma for him in the Indian society). The other day, I and my husband were discussing wives having the option to leave their jobs whenever they want, but same is not the case with the husbands.

The first question which is asked from a guy before marriage is about his job and salary to ascertain his money churning capacity. Why? Why is it the responsibility of man to be the bread earner. Why it’s only the woman who has the option to leave her job after marriage? The same question should be asked from the girl as well. She should also be able to contribute towards family’s earnings and if she earns well enough, a man should also not hesitate to ask, “If, after marriage, I would want to take a break and be a house husband, will that be ok?”

Today when we talk about equal rights and an equal voice for both the genders, then we should be equally open about this concept as well. The society should not look down on a man taking care of household stuff and wife bringing in income.

Right from childhood, a girl should be raised to become a self-dependent woman rather than society and her parents fuelling her mind with things like, “Graduation khatam hote hi teri shadi kar denge acchha ladka dekh ke” (Will start looking for a suitable boy for you as soon as you finish graduation) or “naukri kya karna, shadi ho jae pehle, fir jo karna hai karte rehna” (What’s so big deal about doing a job, get married first and then do whatever you wish to)

The upbringing of girls need a radical change in our society. The parents should make sure that their girls do not think of themselves as a weaker sex. They should be able to take care of the household and contribute to the family income because may be today, your husband is earning and fulfilling all your wishes. What if, one sudden day, he is not able to and you are required to step up and take his position in the family.    

The way we accept and respect housewives in our society, house husbands should also be given equal acceptance and respect. The way a working girl might need a breather, a guy can also wish for the same.  

Why Collaborative Goal Process is always a better bet!

niswey
Source: Niswey

I recently had the good fortune of attending a goal setting session at one of my friend’s company. Why it was unique? Because I had never given any thought to set life goals ever in my life. I just go with the flow and take random decisions. I never gave too much thought in setting any professional goals or personal goals ever. I remember one of my interviews where when asked about where I see myself 5 years down the line, I replied saying I like to live in present and do not intend to set any 5 year goals. If I get bored doing a work, I switch. Which makes perfect sense to me now as well.

So how did this goal setting session helped me. Before I start talking about that, let me give you a background of this session. My friend who is also the founder of the company keeps a day for his colleagues to discuss their goals. These goals involve their professional as well as personal goals along with the timelines. It’s a team discussion wherein everyone discusses their previous year’s goals and accomplishments and later on list out their current year’s plans. For example, Professional goal – I will get 5 sponsorships for the upcoming Digital Marketing event happening in Feb while Personal goal can be ‘I will read 23 books this year’.

What are the key positives that come out from such a session?

  1. Public Sharing: The goal sheet is publicly shared among the colleagues of the organization which gives them the added motivation to adhere to their goals and do their bit to accomplish them as stated. Two forces can work here. While self-motivation and will power is enough for some, competing spirit can drive others. Whatever be the reason, eventually it helps an individual to be a better professional and improve their personal life as well.
  2. Self-Awareness: Goal setting process is common in every organization but it is only restricted to your professional goals and I am not sure how much of us take it seriously. Such a system pushes us to think beyond our professional goals and decide on our personal goals as well. We get so occupied with our office-home routine that we tend to overlook our hobbies and interests. This is a great way to think about ourselves and revive our passions once again.
  3. Collective Growth: When everyone in the organization knows each other’s goals, it becomes easier to enable each other in accomplishing them as well. People can motivate and enable each other in achieving their goals. For example, if someone has listed learning a professional skill as his goal, his senior can facilitate his learning process.
  4. Defined Timelines and Regular Follow-Ups: Unlike setting goals for the year, everyone sets their goals for 3/6/12 months. This seemed a good practice as it sets short-term timelines and easy to follow. Also, my friend’s company tends to do follow-ups every 2-3 months to see where everyone is standing in their goal achieving process.
  5. Scope of refinement of goals: Goals are not treated as ‘Lakshman Rekha’. They can be re-looked at and changed in case people do not feel too strongly about them and want to refine them a bit. It is a very important aspect as whenever we are trying to attain a new skill, we may or may not like whatever we have started and like to change and explore something else. One should not keep dragging themselves into something which they do not enjoy.

The goal setting process which has become a dead process in the organizations wherein people just do it for the sake of it, can become more meaningful in such an exercise. People will give their goals a serious thought and strongly believe in them. You may never know the team you are struggling with currently can give you amazing performance once you implement such goal setting sessions.

My friend runs a start-up and it’s a team of 10-12 young enthusiastic professionals and running such an exercise is pretty doable but how can we replicate this in bigger organizations? That’s something which I leave for HR managers and Team leads to ponder on.

I again thank Team Niswey for inviting me for their goal setting session which was truly insightful and exciting as well.

What ROBINHOOD ARMY and ZOMATO are doing to end the hunger of many?

Robinhood-Zomato

Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

One of my friends is a big foodie and keeps writing reviews on ZOMATO. Recently during a conversation with him, he talked about the two groups he joined – Indian Fiction Book Club and ZOMATO Charity Food Drive. The Indian Fiction Book club is a club which promotes Indian authors in the genre and make the readers aware about not so popular writers and their works.

The one which got me more interested was ZOMATO Charity Food Drive. I asked him more about it as I had never heard of this initiative and what it does. As the name suggests, the initiative is a social cause aimed at providing food for the homeless and the underprivileged people of our society. But how it functions is something amazing.

What is ZOMATO Charity Food Drive?

My friend got to know about this initiative in one of the meet-ups which ZOMATO organizes for the foodies. An organization named ROBINHOOD ARMY that works to get surplus food from restaurants to the less fortunate in India and Pakistan had partnered with ZOMATO to get more people and restaurants involved in this amazing cause. The process is quite simple.

ZOMATO-ROBINHOOD ARMY

This drive happens once in 2-3 weeks in a city. Considering ZOMATO’s reach, I can only say it should grow in time.

How joining of ZOMATO foodies help this initiative?

ZOMATO is one hub for people in metro cities to check out restaurants and their ratings. We pick/chose restaurants on the basis of their ratings and reviews. Once ZOMATO foodies come into the picture, these restaurants tend to give extra as they share a personal bond with the customer and would like that bond to grow stronger. There is no better form of publicity than the Word of Mouth publicity. A restaurant would never want to come in bad books of any influencer.

Whatever the reason may be, the end result is commendable. I really appreciate the thought behind the initiative and kudos to the ROBINHOOD ARMY who are doing it religiously for so long. I was reading an article on them at The Guardian and couldn’t help but give a standing ovation to the people behind this beautiful initiative. Quoting from the article, “In 2012, up to 10,000 were fed solely on leftovers from 16 weddings held on Akshaya Tritiya, a day considered auspicious for Hindus to tie the knot.” itself explains the situation of food wastage in our country.

About ROBINHOOD ARMY

Started in Aug 2014, the organization has become 1000+ volunteer strong spread across 18 cities and had fed around 200,000+ people so far. If you visit their FB page, you will see the smiling faces of small kids happily posing for a picture with the RHA members. The joy in the eyes of these small kids and the selfless service of the volunteers will leave an impression in your heart. The way these people are giving back to the society not only deserves accolades but deserves more support from us. They have a section where Colleges, Restaurants, and General People can register as volunteers. The only way to appreciate this cause will be to join them in their mission to eradicate hunger.

I believe more and more organizations and more and more individuals should come forward to support such initiatives. There are small kids who sleep hungry on our city streets and we tend to waste food in our plates, in our kitchens, and in the restaurants when we eat out. If you want to contribute to this cause in your small way, start with ‘Not Wasting Food Anymore’. Always remember that one chapatti you are leaving in your plate can feed a kid right at the crossing 4 blocks away.

You also don’t need a ZOMATO or ROBINHOOD ARMY to support this cause. People who frequent particular restaurants can reach out to them and ask for help. The only thing needed is an awakened mind and selfless conscious to help out the less fortunate people of our society. Wedding Season is around. If people are aware of this initiative, they can ask the ROBINHOOD ARMY for help and make sure the leftover food reaches out to the homeless and hungry souls.

We just need a HEART to make a START and a willingness to GIVE to make this world a better place to LIVE.

 

Disclaimer: The logos used above are registered with the respective organizations.

How to find a hobby? Here is your simple guide.

We all work for a living and sometimes are too engrossed in doing so that we forget there is more to life than just work and attending family matters. In the race of moving ahead than your peers, getting those brownie points from your bosses, chasing deadlines and anxiously waiting for the appraisal cycle to add those peanuts in your salary, we are forgetting ourselves. We are always so worked up that we miss the ‘ME’ time to re-energize our cells.

We all had one or more hobbies since the time we were kids. Be it painting, doodling, reading, writing, cooking, clicking pictures, dancing, learning music and what not. I may not be wrong if I say at some point of your life you also must have thought that these hobbies can be pursued as a profession as well. Some of you might have done the same, but this blog piece is for those of you who have completely forgotten about their passions.

Our hobbies make us free from the worldly troubles. You forget about tensions, the work, family issues for those few hours and give that time to yourself. Pursuing a hobby relieves you from stress and relaxes your mind, body, and soul.

Even if you don’t know what you like doing in your free time, explore. Below are couple of starters which you can try out:

  • Examine your skill set and personality: If you love makeup, accessorizing, follow fashion trends, you could be a fashion blogger. If you are good at handling kids and teaching them, you could volunteer as a teacher for underprivileged kids. Start with listing down your personality traits and skills that can help you identify your passions.

Continue reading How to find a hobby? Here is your simple guide.

Why is it important to take chances in life?

path

Had a brief chat with someone today. She is working with a digital media firm and earning a decent package. The girl told me how bored she is, doing the same sort of job for past 1 and a half year and needs a change. There is no application of mind and she just needed to put in some figures here and there. I am sure her role would be much more than that and she was just frustrated because of the mundane nature of her work and hence was only concentrating on the sad part of the business. Continue reading Why is it important to take chances in life?